I'm reasonably sure he thinks this is an integral part of human reproduction.
When I read about what yet another in a long line of inbred criminally stupid fuckwits from the great state of Missouri said last week, I was reminded of a quote from Louis CK. Admittedly, virtually everything reminds me of a quote from Louis CK, but here’s the quote anyway so we can get on with this thing:
”They definitely gave the pussy to the right sex. Because women take care of things…. If guys had vaginas, they would be so gross! You’d always find things in there, like dice and stuff, and little salt packets from McDonalds… Receipts from a gas station three months ago…"
Keep that quote in mind when you read the comment that landed Todd Akin in hot water:
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
For the same reason men would make terrible vagina owners, they make terrible legislators on vagina-related issues, because most of us have no idea how anything down there works.
Ways to shut that whole thing down – Akin is talking about a woman’s private parts like they’re a partially classified failsafe measure in a nuclear power plant, not something you can figure out if you spend a couple of minutes with a junior high health class textbook. Keep in mind, this guy is married to a woman, and he made use of her “female body” to produce two children, who are also female.
His house is 75% women. He is beset on all sides by female genitalia – a veritable rogues’ gallery of cervixes, uterine walls, ovaries, and up to three feet of fallopian tubes. You’d think he would’ve picked up some level of comfort or familiarity with female reproductive health simply by fucking osmosis, if nothing else.
By no means am I trying to position myself as the end-all, be-all authority on lady parts – I’m no gynecologist, nor do I play one on TV. However, I’ve got a pretty solid understanding of how a pregnancy works, and enough common sense to figure that an egg doesn’t discriminate between consensual or nonconsensual sperm and decide to become fertilized or not as a result.
Above all, though, I’ve got enough common sense not to try to legislate something that I don’t know anything about, which would put me at odds with a big chunk of the Republican Party.
In 1988, Stephen Freind, a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, claimed that being raped causes women to, “…secrete a certain secretion” that kills sperm, making the odds of a pregnancy from rape, “one in millions and millions and millions.” In 1995, North Carolina State Representative Henry Aldridge said, “The facts show that women who are raped – who are truly raped – the juices don’t flow, the bodily functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree this is a rarity, if ever.”
These opinions suggest that there’s a contingent of old Republican men who truly believe that women have some sort of mysterious, preternatural, Bene Gesserit-style control of their entire bodies in ways that have yet to be fully explained by science.
And if that’s the case, I don’t get why Republicans seem to be hell bent on marginalizing and denigrating these magical creatures whose vaginas have built in defense mechanisms. If Republican assumptions about the various abilities of the female body are true, we probably shouldn’t be pissing them off – for all we know they could have telepathy and pyrokinesis hidden in there too.
While women’s ability to automatically lock down their reproductive organs at the first sign of attack hasn’t been proven (it’s actually the opposite!), they do have a very well documented ability to vote, and recently they’ve been using it against the Republicans in greater and greater numbers.
As much as I’m enjoying the fact that the Republican Party seems to have forgotten that people have to like you in order to win an election, I’m kind of dismayed that this is what political discourse in our country has come to. Like most young people who’ve skimmed the first page of an opinion feature from The Atlantic, I agree that the two party system isn’t doing America any favors, but right now we don’t even have two parties – we’ve got one, and it’s the Democrats.
The Republicans are now less a party and more of a general, spiteful, gleefully ignorant ideology which, thanks to the Tea Party, has picked up all manner of bottom feeding crazies like a Swiffer broom picks up dust bunnies and pubic hair off a hardwood floor. Hell, sometimes I wonder if the Democrats only look like they’ve got their shit together because their competition is such a disaster that FEMA needs to start handing out blankets and bottled water.
What I’d really like was if I could disagree with the Republican Party purely on economic and foreign policy issues, and if they’d articulate themselves on those issues in such a way that I wouldn’t disagree with them by yelling at the TV and throttling an imaginary GOP Congressman. Sure, Barry Goldwater probably would’ve started a nuclear war, but at least he would’ve started it for purely secular reasons – and while I wouldn’t agree with that decision, I could at least respect it.
The obvious benefit to Akin’s comments is that he’s easily derailed Republican efforts to retake the Senate, and given the Obama campaign yet another boost on top of the Romney campaign’s nonstop gaffe parade. Better yet, as the bulk of the Republican establishment distance themselves from his statement (even though they pretty much agree with it), a number of Republicans have come out in support of him, led by Mike ‘August 1st is Chick-Fil-A Day’ Huckabee.
In an email today, Huckabee talked about the support he’s rallying behind Akin. “There is a vast, but mostly quiet army of people who have an innate sense of fairness and don't like to see a fellow political pilgrim bullied…” I don’t know what ‘fairness’ has to do with an ignorant old man using pseudoscience to trivialize rape, but that’s neither here nor there.
What I want more than anything is for this vast, quiet army to come forward and make themselves known so that the women of America can lay waste to them with their supernaturally powered vaginas – or simply vote them right the fuck out of office. Either one is good.
Truman Capps has made a marked departure from reading smutty literature into his webcam.